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Ocean vs River Cruising - Sea/Land sickness question

Ocean vs River Cruising - Sea/Land sickness question

Old Dec 5th, 2012, 05:04 AM
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Ocean vs River Cruising - Sea/Land sickness question

My wife and I have taken 2 one-week ocean cruises, to the Caribbean in 1994 and from Philadelphia to Bermuda in 2005. On the first one, she wore a patch and had mild sea-sickness while on the ship. It did not seriously interfere with our enjoyment of the trip. On the second one, she also wore a patch and was fine while on the cruise - but had a horrible case of land sickness, which hit her about a week after returning. She was so sick that I took her to the emergency room twice in the second week after our return - severe motion sickness, nausea, imbalance.

We both loved the cruises, but have been understandably reluctant to try again. We're now talking about maybe taking a European River Cruise next summer. Realizing there are no guarantees, can anyone tell me generally how river cruising compares to ocean cruising in terms of the tendency to experience motion sickness - more or less? We are nervous about the possibility that she would be sick again, either before or after aboard ship, but we really would like to give it another try.

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Old Dec 5th, 2012, 05:48 AM
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There's a significantly lower risk of motion sickness on a river cruise than on an ocean cruise. You rarely, if ever, feel motion on a river cruise, and virtually all travel is done at night. But it gives me some pause to think that your wife was so severely affected. How does she do on trains? If she can ride a train, I think she'd be ok, but this is one time when I think it would benefit you to see a doctor for some real medical advice. Such several motion sickness is actually pretty rare and might indicate an underlying problem.
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Old Dec 5th, 2012, 08:16 AM
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I agree, the symptoms on land are unlikely to be related to the cruise. Also "land" sickness - in the absence of motion sounds to me unlikely. I suspect acute labyrinthyitis, but other things are possible. Since it was acute and hasn't recurred it is probably OK. On the other hand, if it is persistent, a workup is essential. A visit to an ENT would not be wrong. (I am an MD)
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Old Dec 5th, 2012, 09:51 AM
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Thanks for your responses. Though my wife is prone to motion sickness - for example, she can't read in a moving car - she never experienced symptoms such as those that occurred after that last cruise, either before or since. At that time, the ER doctors and personnel told us that such a "delayed reaction" after coming off a ship was not unheard of. She has been to the Dr. regularly since (though not an ENT), and is in very good overall health.

We're continuing to discuss and consider taking the cruise, maybe consulting an ENT would be a good idea. Any other views would be welcome.
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Old Dec 6th, 2012, 03:24 PM
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This happened to me two cruises ago. I thought I was doing great while on the cruise. No seasickness at all. My husband was sick as a dog however. So we get home, and I feel like I was still on the boat.

So what I should have done on the cruise I did on dry land - ginger - lots and lots of ginger, either in tea form or in crystals that you can chew and green apples. There is something in the apple that helps with the nausea. Also she needs to dry up her sinses - that nasal drip is what's making her to be sick to her stomach. And lastly peppermints help, and lots and lots of water. She should be okay in two / three days if it happens again. Of course if she takes the ginger and the green apples during the motion event that would help too.

Enjoy the River Cruise. It's the most relaxing cruise I've ever taken.
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Old Dec 8th, 2012, 12:34 PM
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Thanks Florence, she will try it.
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Old Dec 12th, 2012, 11:53 AM
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That's strange; I've never heard of such a severe reaction weeks AFTER the cruise. Maybe something else was wrong.

With that said, as others have confirmed, river cruises typically produce far less sea sickness than ocean cruises, for obvious reasons.
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Old Dec 12th, 2012, 01:22 PM
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And it's not just sea sickness which is a problem in confined spaces -

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Old Dec 12th, 2012, 02:54 PM
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I've heard about "sea legs" after a cruise, but it would start sooner, not a week after. All motion sickness meds take care of it. This is why I don't stop taking ginger pills for 3-4 days after a cruise.

Picking a cabin is very important for people with motion sickness, it cannot be an "inside" and should be in the lower middle part of the ship.
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